Endurance by Jack Kilborn (Book Review)
Plot: The bed and breakfast was hidden in the hills of West Virginia. Wary guests wondered how it could stay in business at such a creepy, remote location, especially with its bizarre, presidential decor and eccentric proprietor.With the event hotel for the national Iron Woman triathlon accidentally overbooked, competitor Maria was forced to stay at the Rushmore. But after checking into her room, she quickly realized she wasn’t alone. First her suitcase wasn’t where she put it. Then her cell phone was moved. Finally, she heard an odd creaking under the bed. Confusion quickly turned to fear, and fear to hysteria when she discovered the front door was barred and the windows were bricked over. There was no way out.One year later, four new female athletes have become guests of the Inn. Will they escape the horrors within its walls? Or will they join the many others who have died there, in ways too terrible to imagine?
My Review: I decided after reading Trapped by Kilborn, that I had to get my hands on his other works. Endurance was a free kindle book so I picked it up. Reviews stated that it was like a mix between the horror movies Wrong Turn, The Hills Have Eyes, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. After finishing this up I would agree with that.
I want to apologize very quickly if this is a quick, non-detailed review. I got sick TWICE for 3 weeks combined while trying to read this book and I just could not get through it easily or fast. So, I’m writing this quite some time after starting/finishing it. But I still wanted to jot my opinion down.
This is the story of a bed and breakfast run by a crazy family in West Virginia, who for very specific reasons (which I will go into details about later) captures people, tortures them, rapes them, and kills them. The B&B itself is creepy, but it all makes sense later. Its decorated in presidential items. Each room is named after a President and everything is President themed.
The book starts off pretty creepily honestly. A woman who is in the area about to compete in a competition that is held yearly, is told her hotel is overbooked and she must stay elsewhere. A creepy B&B out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. She heads there and has an uneasy feeling right from the start. She ends up being attacked but we don’t really know what happened till much later.
A year later and we are introduced to a bunch of new characters, all people involved with the competition. Each group of people have some reason for staying at the creepy B&B. There is a group which consists of a grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter. Another group consists of a woman who has no legs (but uses prosthetics) with a news reporter who’s going to interview her, and then we have a man searching for his missing fiancé with his crazy future brother-in-law.
Each character has their own backstory, like the woman with no legs. There is the whole reasoning behind her accident, the fact that she can’t let men into her life, and of course her love interest later on with the reporter. I really enjoyed her being in the book. I couldn’t imagine trying to get away in certain situations with no legs. It was very interesting to see what the author did with her story. There is also a story behind the bother who has the missing sister, and why he was locked up in a Looney bin (and broken out to help find his sister). Honestly, I didn’t see his story coming, and I felt it just didn’t add much to the plot later on. Then there is the story of why the grandmother and her daughter didn’t get along. All of these subplots really got me caring for each of the characters. So I actually cared if they lived or died. I love when a book or movie can do this.
After the meeting of all the characters, and everyone arrives (at different times) to the B&B things get in full swing. There are tons of secret passages around the house, and they are used well. Its around this point everything mainly takes place inside the B&B, people running amok trying to escape or get away from the killers.
Now, if you don’t want to know the motive behind why the killers are capturing people, skip to the “overall” portion below.
I wasn’t thrilled with the motive. I’m not sure why, it was sort of interesting, but overall I just think I’m a little sick of the mutant storyline in movies/books. But anyhow, the woman who runs the B&B basically had “presidential/royal blood” in her, and she wants to preserve that. So she inbreeds with her children and due to this they get deformed and have various blood disorders. Due to the blood disorders they need transfusions often otherwise they will die. She also needs new subjects to have more babies with her children to keep the line going. So she basically gets a scheme going where they will trap women, impregnate them, and use their blood for transfusions. Those that somehow find their way there they don’t need, will be sent down to one of the “children” who wants to be a doctor. He will experiment with the subject. So, there ends up being about 50 “children” running around the place that our lead characters must kill/avoid to escape.
So, while I didn’t care that much for the motive, at least it was interesting and not one I had heard before.
Overall: I didn’t fall in love with this book. The motive was a little “meh” for me. But I again loved the authors writing style, his character development, and how easily he can make me feel uneasy. Honestly, I’m not sure if I want to rate this book a 3.5/5 or a solid 4 stars. As I said before, I was sick so I’m sure that didn’t help matters at all when it came to reading this one over such a long period of time. I’d highly recommend this author if you like horror stories.